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Interior of the Altit Fort Musuem near Serena Altit Fort


Perched on two boulders cresting a thousand feet over the gushing Hunza river, the stunning 11th century Altit Fort is the oldest surviving monument of the region and the birthplace of the Hunza Kingdom. Altit, translating to ‘this side down’, was the first royal dwelling for the Tham (the traditional ruler) or Mirs of Hunza. The fort and the surrounding village settlement of Altit Khun have been restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture through its Historical Cities Programme. The fort is the recipient of the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2011.

The Altit Fort has been converted into a museum and is open to visitors. It features a three-storey building with the main entrance (carved wooden door) located on the North side on the ground floor leading from the historic settlement that opens first into a storage room and then climbs up along a narrow, covered passage way to the communal kitchen and Mir’s personal bed room on the first floor. A tall and very prominent watch tower (shikari), a mosque, fruit storage and guest rooms (built in the colonial period) are situated on the second level. With its collection of preserved artefacts, traditional woodcarvings and heritage ornaments, stunning views of the valley and natural landscape as well as guided tours by knowledgeable local guides, it offers visitors an unforgettable experience.